Monday, 11 July 2011

Why I left Twitter

I left Twitter last week. This isn't news in itself and barely warrants comment at all, but I did have some followers (somewhere in the region of 120), several of whom I corresponded with on a regular basis. So, if you'll indulge me, I'd quite like to state my reasons for leaving.

Firstly, I was just spending too much time on there. Last week I had some free time in which I hoped to get lots of writing and subbing done. As it goes, I managed a fair bit, but not as much as I could have done, and Twitter was the main cause of that. Although it only takes a couple of minutes to check your feed and compose a couple of replies, that all adds up over the course of a day. Hopefully, no Twitter means more time to write, and perhaps more time to write self-serving blog entries like this.

Secondly, the News of the World hacking story broke last week. It probably appears horribly solipsistic and crass to draw any link at all between private investigators deleting the voicemails of missing children and me leaving a social networking site. However, when the story really went stratospheric, my news feed was full of bile, condemnation and links to further information. It's important to state that I wholeheartedly agree that these were terrible acts but, at the risk of sounding immature, I like to go on Twitter for a bit of knockabout fun and to talk rubbish about pop music. While the Twitter campaigns are admirable and, in the case of last week certainly, appear to work in some cases, that's not what I want of Twitter. Does this make me a bad person? Maybe, but it's the truth.

Finally, something that will mean absolutely nothing to an awful lot of people. Recently, a thread was started on The Word Magazine website about a perceived "clique," with their own brand of in-jokes and sycophancy. I don't believe a clique in such a form exists, but if there were one, I'm self-aware enough to know that, as a long-time and frequent poster, I'm more than likely part of it. When you can be deemed part of an online clique, I think it's time to take a look at the world you inhabit and take a step back.

Of course, the natural response to this would be to leave The Word Magazine website instead of/as well as Twitter, but The Word blog doesn't sap my time like Twitter does. Plus, I've made a good few friends via The Word (not just online, I mean real people that I've actually met in real life and everything), and I didn't want to completely restrict contact with them. So, sure, maybe not the ideal way to do things, but it's a compromise that works for me.

So, it's not necessarily forever and it wasn't me flouncing off in a huff with anyone. No-one's upset me, no-one's said anything that offended me, in fact, it's all pretty uninteresting. I just stepped back a bit and realised it wasn't what I wanted any more. I joined Twitter two years ago to promote my writing and, ironically, it was stopping me doing the writing in the first place.

I'm still on Facebook though. Don't know why - it's rubbish.

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